2017 Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award
Robert D. Kerns, PhD
Dr. Robert D. Kerns is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology at Yale University. He recently retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after over 37 years of government service, including roles as VA National Program Director for Pain Management from 2005 to 2013 and as founding Director of the VA Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities and Education (PRIME) Center of Innovation from 2008 to 2016. He received doctorate in Bio-Clinical Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1980. He has published over 250 articles, chapters and monographs, and two books in the area of behavioral medicine and pain management, and his scientific contributions to the field have been funded via numerous research grants from the VA, the National Institutes on Health and private foundations. His scholarly and scientific contributions to the field of pain management have been broad in scope and include contributions in support of comprehensive pain assessment; development and evaluation of effective psychological interventions for chronic pain; studies of pain, emotional distress and mental health comorbidities; identification of harms associated with long term opioid therapy; and efforts to promote organizational improvements in pain care. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education, the Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy Oversight Panel, and the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Prevention of Adverse Drug Events, among other national committees and workgroups.
The Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award and Lecture was established in 1995 to recognize and honor career achievement in clinical research on pain. The award has been named for Wilbert E. Fordyce, PhD, the first recipient of this honor.